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Have you heard that Feb 11th is Free Expression Day?



Discussion (43)¬

  1. jean-françois gauthier says:

    do author’s speech bubbles mean to imply that jesus and mo are square?

  2. Jon B says:

    And does that mean the barmaid is round?

  3. Andrew Hall says:

    Undoubtedly the barmaid is a misogynist, too.

  4. Somebody alert the LSE Students’ Union! This is an OUTRAGE.

    Don’t miss the Free Expression item.

  5. When a cartoon featuring the prominent figures in the world’s major religions having a beer together (you know, getting along peacefully) becomes the symbol for anti-multi-culturalism, then multi-culturalism is failing.

  6. HaggisForBrains says:

    In the spirit of multi-culturalism, I think Moses and Joe Smith should join this debate, and maybe even Buddha, Zeus, Brahman (in its many guises), etc (and perhaps L Ron). Boy is that bar going to be crowded.

    I am not a spammer, so fuck off!

  7. Sondra says:

    EXCELLENT!! As usual. :D

  8. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    If a cult responds with violence or hate
    To a question or a debate
    Then the self righteous twits
    Are ignorant twits
    As humanoids, they are second rate.

  9. noreligion2 says:

    “The LSE Students’ Union would like to reiterate that we strongly condemn and stand against any form of racism and discrimination on campus. The offensive nature of the content on the Facebook page is not in accordance with our values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religious affiliation.”

    I.e. “In the interest of promoting “tolerance,” we’ll not tolerate the pointing out of hypocrisy, irrational thought, or ridiculous propositions and are all too ready to embrace lunacy and sacrifice integrity to that end. Now, all union members will be required to place the thumb of your right hands to your noses, wiggle your fingers, cross your eyes and sing in unison “LULULULULULULU nothing can be silly if you’re seriously confused.””

  10. Acleron says:

    Just perfect.

    The LSE SU should be feeling very silly at the moment. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they care a toss about free speech.

  11. evilDoug says:

    Curious. Today was the first time that I noticed our beloved Barmaid has soft corners while J and M have hard pointy ones, and find that others noticed the same thing. I had to go back to confirm I had justed missed that little detail previously. Perhaps it supports the notion that what Barmaid has to say is far more important than how she looks.

    I do hereby swear that I am not a spammer. Neither am I a spanner that will fall into the works and break thing.

  12. fuzzy says:

    @evilDoug: Yes, her view is more rounded while J&M’s is rigid, they cannot think outside the box.
    Has Jesus got little horns on his head?

  13. Lurker says:

    This cartoon is full of ridicule, therefore it is ridiculous ;)

    I would attack you too, but is pointless hammering at screen about my complete lack of offence

    I am a spammer

    [Note: opinions expressed may or may not be a reflection of my opinion]

  14. kev_s says:

    Well it is good to see Mo doing as he was told by a woman!

  15. J Ascher says:

    If the Monty Python troupe were still intact and active, this would be excellent fodder for a skit! As it is, today’s strip reminds me of the skit where an “Army” officer was protesting the use of “It’s A Man’s Life in Today’s Army” spoofs in the show.

  16. chigau says:

    Brilliant Author!

    NBH needs a word that rhymes with “twit”.

    I am not a spammer!
    I am a human being!

  17. IanB says:

    Straight to the point. I wonder do the beyond PC UCL students union realise just how silly they’re looking?

  18. Svlad Cjelli says:

    Gee, I must be partially muslim. The Moar You Know. Thanks, LSESU! I would hate to think for myself!

  19. Jerry w says:

    Translation service for Americans, when evilDoug says “Spanner”, he means “Wrench”. If he says “Ring Spanner”, he means “Box Wrench”. Stay tuned for episode #2, wherein “Boot, Bonnet, Near (or Off) side, and Articulated Lorry” are converted to english. “Spam or Spammer”, being universal require no explanation, which is good as I don’t eat one and I’m not the other.

  20. Brilliant again. Maintaining consistency very nicely, Author.
    @NBH I think the word you need might be “shits”.

  21. noreligion2 says:

    The beautiful irony in the statement “not in accordance with our values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religious affiliation,” is the religious texts fundamental to the religions the LSE student’s union tolerate are definitely not in accordance with these principles.

    Both the bible and koran should be identified as books that insult every single one of the aforementioned groups of people and as such any images of, or references to, should banned in the manner J&M’s cover was.

    Those texts are sectarian, racist, sexist, perverse, violent, violence-inducing, graphic, and contradictory. They offend me deeply.

  22. :-) long live jesus and mo, i like this cartoon wery much.

    for those about to like Jesus and Mo i salute you :-)

  23. Rieux says:

    Fantastic. One of the best J&Ms, which is saying something.

  24. percyF says:

    In accordance to chess notation signifying a great move: !

  25. Uncle Roger says:

    If a cult responds with violence or hate
    To a question or a debate
    Then the self righteous gits
    Are ignorant twits
    As humanoids, they are second rate.

    I suspect NBH is not British. And, I must admit, I kinda like this one.

  26. @Uncle Roger Bravo. Much better than my suggested vulgarism. :-)

  27. GonzoLubitsch says:

    Just found my way here from an article on blasphemy tweeted by Tim Minchin! Already love this site! Hi everyone!

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a spammer. Although, I have been called a spanner many times.

  28. HaggisForBrains says:

    Welcome Gonzo! We hope you have as much fun as we’ve had over the years. Make sure you go back to the beginning and work your way through previous cartoons – it may take time but you won’t regret it.

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    To paraphrase my ’70s heroes,
    “Everything comes with spam! There’s Spam and chips; Spam, egg and chips; sausage, egg, Spam and chips; Spam, egg, Spam, Spam, egg, Spam and Spam;………”
    And so to the song: All together now…
    “Spam Spam Spam Spam
    Spam Spam Spam wonderful Spam”

    I’m not a spammer though, can’t abide the taste of the muck.

    DH, never mind the vulgarism, ‘shits’ suits the sentiment. Religion is effluent any way up.

  30. chigau says:

    http://www.xkcd.com/
    Does this have any effect on our potwas?
    (I think spammers can swear.)

  31. I just noticed on re-reading the words “multi-cultural society”. I hope nobody in this crowd conflates multi-cultural with cultural relativism. It seems to happen a lot. I love the former, detest the latter. Multi-cultural means adding the richness of other cultures – their cuisines, festivals, art, dance, clothing styles, music – to our own. It is NOT cultural relativism, which means accepting whatever barbarism and repressive stupidity another culture happens to include.

  32. FreeFox says:

    Yo, DH. Interesting definitions. The Free Online Dictionary sees muliticulturalism rather as “the policy of maintaining a diversity of ethnic cultures within a community” (i.e. it doesn’t restict it per se to exotic inexpensive restaurants, exotically sexy people in colourful clothes and small numbers of pleasant street corner musicians, and doesn’t seem to exclude alien morals or unpleasant customs), while it sees cultural relativism as “a theory holding that truth or moral or aesthetic value, etc., is not universal or absolute but may differ between cultures” (which doesn’t seem to ask acceptance – or rejection – of any set of moral values, repressive or libertarian, but simply refuses to acknowledge the a priori superiority of any cultural set of values over any other. In other words, only to someone who thinks his own values are already “above” all others would interpret relativism as an attack and attempt to exchange something better with something worse…)

    I think you are talking about the difference between assimilation and integration, and it’s pretty clear what side of that divide you come down on. ;)

  33. @FreeFox. Good to hear from you. I’ve been missing your eloquent voice here. No, I am not talking about assimilation versus integration. I am talking about multiculturalism (well represented by Canada) versus the melting pot (represented by America). The former values all cultures, providing they follow a few fairly well supported rules like no honor killing, no stoning for adultery, no FGM, obey the laws and value diversity. The later says forget your culture, forget your language, blend in and become American, which works fine for immigrants from most of Europe but not so well if the ethnicity happens to be African, Asian, or some other off-white “race”, in which case we’ll have racial profiling and good luck on melting into the pot.

  34. @FreeFox. That’s multi-culturalism. It’s opposite is the melting pot. Cultural relativism is a different kettle of hate mail. It means we can’t criticize FGM or stoning adulterers unless we come from a culture that practices such things. It has nothing to do with multi-culturalism. It was invented by anthropologists to try to get missionaries to stop imposing stupid clothing and sexuality rules on the heathens. Unfortunately it backfired.
    Multi-culturalism is wonderful. Cultural relativism is a cop out. I wish people would stop conflating the two. They are not equivalent. We can have multi-culturalism without cultural relativism. In fact, we must.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH (I’ve decided to no longer preface a name with ‘@'; I prefer to talk to, rather than at people), a wonderfully succinct and accurate pair of definitions there, Sir. Methinks our vulpine friend was being mishievous and more than a little disingenuous with his deliberate misunderstanding of your point in the hope of getting a reaction from you. What’s up Foxy, has it been too long since you two last locked horns?

  36. European says:

    Nice commentary by German journalist Kenan Malik on the Rushdie-Jaipur issue: http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/to-name-the-unnameable/

  37. FreeFox says:

    Hey AoS, DH. :) Not entirely. Of course, I am always disingenuous – “not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating” – a borderline sociopath with a former career as confidence artist I cannot help that. But I had a genuine bone to pick here. Two, actually. In my experience culture is more than spicy recipes and hot rhythms. Language, rituals, beliefs, social structure, history, and morals are that which enrichens our lives when we are touched by them. If you reduce, for example, the Roma to scarfs, palm reading, gold jewelry, and sad ballads you rob them of what makes them Roma. I agree with DH that I do not have to like their view on gender, on honesty (towards Gaje), on violence, or on sexuality. But I do NOT think that multiculturalism remains something positive when you pick bits and pieces from a culture and ignore the rest.
    As for relativism, I can’t really understand this fanatical opposition. A) Either it’s true or not… either morals and aethatics are relative, or they are not. It doesn’t actually matter if we like what follows from that. And if DH really believes that they are not, I would very much like to hear his absolute and universal foundation of right and wrong. But B) even if we consider the consequence of the theory… so what? I know how it is dishonestly used to get away with criminal behaviour (I’ve used it myself that way), but that is like Jesus and Mo using protection from offence to offend others. If morals are relative, i.e. lacking some absolute basis such as the Word of God or some clearly provable evolutionary derived set of rules, that applies to ALL morals. Just as the Islamist can say: “I don’t have to treat women the way you think I should”, so can you say: “And I don’t have to treat YOU as you want me to treat you” and give him a sharp kick to the shins.
    It doesn’t even make arguments any harder – the Islamist already doesn’t believe in human rights any more than you do in the Sharia. It just makes it a little less easy to be all too self-righteous about your rejection of other people.
    You do not believe they are wrong because you are right… but simply because from your cultural POV their morals stink and you won’t have any of it. Like spinach. But so does everybody else.

  38. noreligion2 says:

    No culture is static, despite vain efforts to make it so, and as such, every one evolves (or devolves, depending on opinion) and absorbs others. Suggesting that one is better than another requires a point of reference. I’m comfortable establishing that reference as being one that is based on our ability to think rationally and behave compassionately. Every religion I can think of falls short of those goals, some more than others, especially Islam.
    FireFox, you need to add a little game theory to your floating point of reference.

  39. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    noreligion2 (and you’ll never know how hard it was to type that without capitalising the first ‘n’), his nom-de-plume is FreeFox, not FireFox, and if you put a challenge like that to him then I hope you’re ready to be mind-fucked. No offence :-)

    My vulpine friend, I know that you’re disingenuous (without needing the on-line dictionary definition, but full marks for checking), it’s what makes you so interesting to converse with (along with your slowly evolving back story), this ability you have of taking a point to the extreme. We all know that morals are relative, whether to a time, a place or a philosophy, and that what’s right to you may be wrong to me, but that isn’t the point of multi-culturism; it’s when people of all backgrounds can live among each other whilst retaining their individual cultures within the current moral zeitgeist.
    I once heard a comedian -I forget which one but it may have been Jimmy Carr- say something along the lines of ’60 million people in Britain, of all nationalities, colours and creeds, all of whom hate each other, yet there’s so little violence: Now THAT’S multiculture at its best’! It took me a minute or two to realise that that line was far more clever than it first appeared.

  40. Here’s a great article using J&M as illustrations. Very interesting. Very insightful.
    http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/beyond-the-sacred/

  41. @FreeFox You have a great way of restating my opinions to make them seem shallow and trivial. I do see culture as more than spicy foods and colourful costumes. Mostly I see cultures as based on common language. The tragedy of the melting pot is that so many children are not taught to speak the language of their parents, in the interests of assimilation and integration. In American the children are often actively discouraged from learning the language of the “old country”. The patents want them to “become American”. The result is homogenisation, and a country where you are the exception if you speak more than one language. You don’t see the extent of this in Europe, where just about everybody is multi-lingual.
    As for a universal basis for morality, of course it is all relative. But we are all humans, no matter what our culture. Surely we can find some basic principles that everybody can agree should form the core of our moral arguments. I can’t remember who suggested these five: fairness, equality, tradition, authority, purity.
    A person who would stone an adulterer sees this as a very moral act. How is this possible? It’s been suggested that those who support things like honour killings base their morality on purity, tradition, and authority. My morality is based much more on equality and fairness.
    In any event, you speak of cultures as if they have one voice. They don’t. But one voice is taken to be “authentic” and the other voices are told to STFU. As the article referenced previously says, it is the extremists who are usually taken to be the authentic voice of the culture, and this is where cultural relativism fails. In attempting to stifle criticism of another culture it stereotypes the members of that culture. It becomes racist in its attempt to avoid being racist.

  42. Cf says:

    It would have been more true to casting had Jesus and mo said each others’ lines

  43. Here’s a fun video about being Canadian, made by a visimin, an Asian-Canadian.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbIh-vn-Rww

    Makes me wish i could be Canadian.

    And here’s a video from the same creator that illustrates why the melting pot fails.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCXqOFjsiZs

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